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2,133 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
$165 shipped to upgrade your e46 with these features

Message, or text me 931-252-1650

E46 retrofit......
Low profile clown nose
Auto dimming
Home link

The mirror is Set up and wired for 2001 and up.
Has a hidden compass when the car is off
3 home link buttons to control garage doors or in home electrical devices (TV, lamp, coffee pot)
A much better low profile clown nose

typical mounting bracket with 3 pins sticking up about 1/8"

BEST TO READ ALL THE INFO BELOW........most of it won't apply to you. This is typically a 2-5 minute install with no tools but a small flathead screwdriver might help. Most cars are totally plug and play.

Auto Dim
A more sensitive auto dimming system....let's go into this more. The auto dimming system is about twice as good as the stock mirror. It's faster, it gets darker with brighter headlights behind you, and the fluid leak problem isn't there like on the old ones. I was impressed with it after a side by side comparison of my original and then the new one.

Earlier cars or cars without auto dimming will need a retrofit harness available through
Ecs tuning.....

Cars with SOS must remove pin 4&7......(4,5,6,7) can be removed. Some sort of optical sensor for the SOS System. If it's not removed, the mirror auto dim will never work again.
Do this from the car side. Take the plug apart and tape the pins up. Remember where they go if you want to put them back. I think 4 is the ground wire for the 4 and 5 loop.....7 is the hot wire for the 6,7 loop. Taking the 4 and 7 disconnects both loops. Taking them all out is the same thing.

If your car has this type it means you have a very base mirror without auto dim.
Your mirror dimming comes from twisting the clown nose.
In my conclusion they look different in the mounting but they are not. This mirror mounts to the same bracket as all the others do despite its different appearance. There was talk of grinding tabs down. I feel this is unnecessary. I've not held one of these yet so I am not 100%. I might buy one to see for sure.
This mirror should have 2 wires going to it.
It's my guess......that if you have this one you will need to wire in the upgrade. It can be done easily if you are willing. The hardest part will be pin 1 reverse. The wire might even be there but as of yet I'm not sure. I'm learning more and more as I go.

These pins are basically there but sit flush. Grinding down the pins on the new mirror will make it work. The base looks the same but also has a different profile

Some say they need to be ground off some say they don't. I don't think they do

A lot of people have a hard time getting this to lock in. Some try over and over again with constant failure only to take a break and get it the first time.
I get it the first time every that means there's a feel and a trick to it.
Put mirror in the diagonal it's connected to the mount
Then twist it into place......done.

Here's the part that's problematic. When twisting it into place the springs that hold it slip off and the mirror doesn't make connection. It makes a clunk and slides right back off, having to start completely over.
The fix is to put the mirror in place.......HOLD IT FLUSH AHAINST THE MOUNT. when twisting you need to put some pressure on it to make sure it stays flush. That's the problem. The spring mount is overpowering the flush of the mirror to the mount. It's somewhat strong and throws the whole thing out of balance. By putting you own pressure to fight that strong spring resistance you can keep the mirror flush.....WHILE TWISTING.......and force it into place.
How much pressure. Just enough to fight the spring tension. You don't want to break the windshield from the inside.'s a matter of getting that spring to catch. No pieces or tabs on the mirror are stopping it from going on. It's is all the 3 spring clips needing to be slightly compressed to catch. This mirror can go on easily. If it keeps slipping off.......then your not feeling it right and keeping it flush to fight that spring compression tension. Text me if your having problems.

Will NOT work with convertibles as their mirrors have the key fob antenna built in to control the locking of doors. You won't be able to lock your doors if you put this mirror in the convertible.

M3 mirror replacement's the same thing......plugs right in. If you have SOS remove the 4,7 pins

Rain Sensor
This mirror will work with your car whether you have rain sensing wipers or not. It is a completely separate system and has nothing to to with the rear view mirror. With a retrofit harness you might be able to retrofit a rain sensor if your really good. I never use mine....well....sometimes I do but it's not as fast as just hitting the lever. You also have to reset it every time you turn off the car. It doesn't just stay on all the time. Just pass on this option if you dont have it.

Cars 2001 and earlier
Require a retrofit harness
So if your car is a 2001 325i then just source a harness from ecs tuning.
I have an e46 mirror just like this one on my RAV4 and will probably put one on my old 79 trans am
Point........if you have some electrical aptitude you can put it on any car as long as you buy the $12 disc base. Once it was on my e46 I got used to using the compass feature so much that I found myself annoyed when my RAV4 didn't have it. It's great for the city

The wires below are the 3 most importAnt and are all you need. Basic power and ground.
#10 pin = ground
#3 +12 will tap into the universal garage door opener harness
#1 +12 to the reverse light the mirror won't auto dim in reverse.

9 pin
1. +12 controlled from reverse switch.
2. +12 co start source (used for remotes)
3. +12 volt switched (green/white)
4. (-) optical sensor~~~~~~~~~loop1
5. (+) optical sensor--------------loop2
6. (-) optical sensor~~~~~~~~~loop1
7. (+) optical sensor--------------loop2
8. Clown nose
9. Clown nose (-)
10. Ground. (Brown/black)
when disconnecting 4&7 you take care of both loops. You could disconnect all 4 if you wanted.

My car 2002 e46
1. Blue/yellow-------connects into reverse light relay (dark blue) in underhood relay box
2........I don't have a remote control......not sure what is for, maybe convertible transmitter
3.Green/ power wire for entire mirror
4........don't have SOS
5........don't have SOS
7........don't have SOS
8. Red/ for clown with alarm system to make light blink
9. Gray/black........ground for clown with alarm system to make light blink
10. Brown/black....ground for entire mirror

What this really says is that 1,3,10 matter only for the upgrade to work.

Upgraded mirror
1. Gray
2. Blank
3. Red
4. White
5. Black
6. Yellow
7. Green
8. Orange
9. Purple
10. Brown

How did a post that takes 2minutes to install get so big? Like I said above. Most of this info is useless. The rest of the I for is for a small number of e46 owners.

114 Posts
I would like to buy a mirror like this, however, I just put about $2,500 into my e46 this month. If the mirror is still for sale in a few weeks I may buy it.

4,249 Posts
Will this be plug and play on my '05 330Ci?

I have SOS (disabled) so regarding the pins, is it simply a matter of pulling the wires on the harness?

10 Posts
I did this upgrade a while back after my mirror leaked, well worth it. If I had known I would have done it well before.

1,226 Posts
If your car has this type.
1.You can grind the pins off of the new mirror so it sits flush OR.....
2.remove the base connected to the windshield and replace it with standard base...OR
3.write down pins...remove the wires from plug, then pop out and swap the neck.
I would do #3 but any of those would work.

These pins are basically there but sit flush. Grinding down the pins on the new mirror will make it work. The base looks the same but also has a different profile
just FYI

i have an 01 wagon with this mirror (took a picture of my old mirror below) and my compass/autodim/garage door opener mirror bolts right up no grinding NOTHING..

potential buyers with tha same mirror as above please watch this video and start on the 3:00 minute mark on how to mount them properly..


1,226 Posts

126 Posts
Will this mirror work in a 2005 325xiT? Has SOS, but the wires just need to be disconnnected. Found one on ebay but says will only work on 99-03-is this just cause he doesn't know about disc SOS?
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